“Madness is a full and legitimate human experience”

This is a quote from Mary O’Hagan, user of mental health services in New Zealand, and Mental Health Commissioner.She was the keynote speaker at last year’s Scottish Recovery Network conference.

Her speech was one of the best summaries of ‘recovery’ as it applies to mental ill health, mental wellbeing and service developments that I have heard for some time. Recovery has been a theme on this blog for a while- here and here for example. You can listen to it all below.

All the more important at a time when nearly all media portrayals of mental illness are negative and dangerous to others, according to this report.

And if you think that this stuff does not apply to you- then consider this- mental ill health comes to all of us directly or indirectly. And even if the shape of your life keeps periods of crisis at bay, then I would contend that we learn far more for the human condition through coming to an understanding of mental distress than we do from a lauding only of success.

For those of us of faith, the hope of recovery is saturated with that most precious thing-

Vodpod videos no longer available.

2 thoughts on ““Madness is a full and legitimate human experience”

  1. I agree with your contention. I was startled, over the past few years, as a high school teacher [4th and 5th form], how many of my students had problems with depression. And then I, a generally happy and balanced person, fell into the pit. I learned a lot more about myself during the climb out. And what helped me was what I had learned while helping my students. I reckon with the amount of stress people labour under, these days, that there is more mental ill-health than anyone realizes. Thanks for including the video.


    • Sorry to hear that the old black dog has been stalking you, and glad that you ave found your own recovery.

      The stress thing can indeed find any cracks in our construction…



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